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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 22 December, 2014

View from Oz: Stoner fuming after clash with Rossi in Jerez

Neil Sherwin runs the rule over another turbulent weekend in Aussie sport.

Image: Francisco Seco/AP/Press Association Images

AFL

WEEK TWO OF the AFL season was action packed with plenty of exciting games as well as a coupe of blowouts. All eyes were on the Gold Coast Suns who were making their competitive debut in their first season.

Things didn’t go to plan however as they were hammered 171-52 by Carlton. It was a harsh dose of reality for the league’s 17th club and they will do well to rebound this weekend away to the Western Bulldogs who dished out a beating of their own to see off the Brisbane Lions by 78 points.

My own West Coast Eagles made it two wins from two as they beat Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium for the first time in nine attempts. Perth’s other side, the Fremantle Dockers, lost to Geelong at home. Collingwood continue to ooze class and comfortably beat North Melbourne whose skipper Brent Harvey had some choice words to say about his team mates, and there were also wins for Hawthorn and Sydney.

Friday night’s big game ended in a thrilling draw between St. Kilda and Richmond. The Saints suffered a huge blow in the game as Lenny Hayes, who was voted best on ground in the first Grand Final of 2010, suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and will be out for the year.

Hayes is the fourth big name to suffer the injury since preseason began following Brisbane’s Brent Staker, Collingwood defender Nathan Brown and Fremantle youngster Anthony Morabito. Having undergone a reconstruction for the same injury myself in November, I can confirm that it’s not the easiest to come back from with a load of rehab and determination required. Hopefully all will be back fighting fit for 2012 though.

Super Rugby

It was a mixed weekend for the Aussie Super Rugby teams with three wins and two defeats. The clash between the Western Force of Perth and the Melbourne Rebels went right to the wire at NIB Stadium before the away team emerged victorious 26-25 thanks to a spirited comeback having been 12-0 down early on. The Reds and Waratahs also picked up wins over the Lions and the Chiefs respectively.

The Brumbies were a disappointment once again, losing their fifth game out of six. Wallabies star Matt Giteau did his best, chipping in with a try, a penalty and a conversion, but couldn’t stop his side slipping to a 26-20 defeat against the Hurricanes.

The Stormers of South Africa continue to be the most impressive side in the competition having won all six of their games so far. The Reds and New Zealand’s Crusaders also lead their respective conferences after seven rounds.


MotoGP

The latest round of MotoGP in Jerez, Spain, was shrouded in controversy as Australian Casey Stoner was taken out of the race by seven-time World Champion Valentino Rossi.

Unsurprisingly, the Aussie media have had strong words to say about the incident with the Italian’s attempted apology being cynically described as a ‘Rossi classic’. Rossi, with the media in tow, marched into the Ducati garage following the race to extend his hand as a public gesture that he had done wrong. This is not the first time Rossi has tried to play mind games with Stoner having described him as a ‘madman’ not so long ago.

To make matters worse, the race marshalls ignored Stoner following the crash and assisted Rossi in re-entering the race, allowing him to finish in 5th position. “What is more frustrating is the reaction of the stewards and their assistance for Valentino and not for me, it was unbelievable,” said a furious Stoner.

After two rounds of the 2011 championship, Jorge Lorenzo leads the way having won in Jerez and finishing second in the season opener in Qatar.

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